This Sunday night will mark Amy Poehler's sixth and final chance to win an Emmy Award for playing Leslie Knope, patriot, public servant, and lover of waffles. The conclusion of Parks And Recreation has been tough enough to come to terms with; the end of the show also means that the industry is running out of time to throw awards at it. Based on the field and the fact that the show hasn't been recognized once in its seven seasons, I'm afraid an Outstanding Comedy Series trophy is not in the cards. But Poehler has a shot. Her 2015 nod is actually her eighth Primetime Emmy nod; her work on Saturday Night Live was singled out for Supporting nominations in 2008 and 2009. She's beloved in the world of television, she's a movie star, and she's coming off of a finale season. It could happen. But does it need to? Does Amy Poehler really need an Emmy?
It'd be nice, of course. And right. But not absolutely necessary.
Parks and Rec showrunner Mike Schur told Entertainment Weekly how he feels about his star and collaborator remaining unrecognized, saying, “It’s one of the great Hollywood tragedies that she hasn’t won an Emmy yet." I won't argue with that statement, but I will point out that every awards show has its own set of backstage politics that fans aren't privy to. There's more going on than just the work.
As much as I hope I'll get to spill a full glass of wine on myself in a joyful fit when Poehler's name is announced this weekend, I don't believe that having or not having an Emmy will define her career. Here are six reasons why that Leading Actress award would just be the icing on an already tasty cake.
1. She's Already Got Mad Respect
In 2012, Chris Pratt talked about Poehler's consummate professionalism at a Paley Center panel for the show:
Most of the time, when someone is really talented and they're the top dog actor, the first name that comes up on the screen, basically Amy's position on this: they're not always nice. The fact that you are, and the fact that you make everybody feel good and you always laugh at jokes ... I've never seen you in a bad mood. It all rolls downhill.
Hollywood is actually such a small world; reputations spread quickly. And Poehler's name only conjures up positive, professional, cooperative vibes. Her castmates adore her, and that's the legacy that really matters.
2. Leslie Knope Didn't Need Awards Either
Remember back in Season 2 of Parks when Ron Swanson was awarded the Indiana Organization For Women award instead of Leslie? That whole debacle taught Leslie that the trophies are never as important as the work, and that chasing them is futile. She was much happier and more productive after that lesson.
3. She's All About Support, Not Rivalry
Over the past few years, the nominees for the Leading Actress In A Comedy Series category have gotten together before the ceremony to plan out their bits for when the winner is announced. Poehler wrote about this process in her memoir Yes Please and how it serves to take the actresses' minds off the competition and on to what they've all dedicated their lives to doing: entertaining people. Whether it's Melissa McCarthy being crowned with a tiara or Poehler and Julia Louis-Dreyfus "mixing up" their speeches, these mini-sketches also present these women as a united front. A comedy sisterhood, if you will.
4. She's Changing Girls' Lives 1 YouTube Video At A Time
Poehler and friends Amy Miles and Meredith Walker founded Smart Girls (formerly known as Smart Girls At The Party) as a way to inspire and encourage young women. Their YouTube channel is a wealth of knowledge for grown-ups too, particularly Poehler's "Ask Amy" series, where she advises on all manner of topics from sleep to crushes to dealing with embarrassment.
5. She'll Be In Good Company
Steve Carell never won an Emmy for playing Michael Scott on The Office. It stings to remember, but it's true.
6. She's Got Work To Do
Listen. Amy Poehler is way too busy being awesome and productive to dwell on any kind of award. Next up, she's got the movie Sisters with pal Tina Fey. And she just signed on to produce a new comedy pilot for NBC. Between acting, writing, producing, and reaching out to a generation of digitally engaged girls, Poehler has got plenty to think about.
Of course, come Emmy night, my fingers will be crossed when the winner of Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series is announced.
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